Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wise By Name

“I hate this,” Gordon Ramsay said. “I hate this, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.” He was about to dip his spoon into the first soufflé Alistair Wise had made for him.

Tasmanian-born Wise had just joined Ramsay’s London brigade, and this wasn’t the reaction he was hoping for. But all was not lost. “I hate this,” Ramsay said, “because it’s bloody perfect.” (Gourmet Traveller September 2008).

The same Alistair Wise, who was later showered with praise as pastry chef at Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York, generously shared the secret of his souffle with me at the Agrarian Kitchen's Pastry 101 Class taught by him last Sunday! So kind was he that he later emailed me with the complete recipe and detailed notes on the method. Wise by name and wise by nature but also a true gentleman.

Above are our dolce delice tarts with the salted caramel made from Agrarian Kitchen goat's milk and below the very difficult to bake Portuguese custard tarts perfectly cooked at 295C.

Then came Tarte fine with Rodney and Severine's apples. Note the angled cut on the apple slices which help keep the stack level on the puff pastry.

Chocolate eclairs of course - so yellow inside from the Agrarian Kitchen Barnvelders' eggs. These were filled with whipped cream and pastry creme made with my own fair hands. These were the best eclairs I have ever eaten.

Lunch on the run was a courgette tart with confit tomatoes. The tarts were blind baked in French hoops and cooked in the wood fired oven.

Speaking of which. The croissant, pain au chocolat, almond flaked and plain were all cooked in the wood oven. A beautiful sight when the oven door was removed, not to mention the smell.

Alistair, who was photographed below by Chris Chen for Gourmet Traveller in September 2008 is now back in Tasmania and with his wife Teena Kearney creates mouth watering sensations under the name of Sweet Envy.


  1. It looks like you had a fabulous day we are so very lucky here in Tasmania. You have ruined my breakfast for me though. How can I enjoy my muesli when I have visions of croissants and poached pears fluttering around before me?

  2. wow, that all looks amazing, and i bet it tasted even better!

  3. Oh my I can't even begin to imagine the aromas in the kitchen that day. Woodfired crossiants? Pasteis de nata? Consider me green with absolute envy.

  4. Beats Krispy Kreme hands down.

    Leo Schofield

  5. LISBON COOKIES! (Thats it, I am going to find your address and sit on your doorstep until I get some....) Sorry I have a very unhealthy relationship with Pasteis de nata's stemming from an Aunts Portugese boyfriend, jet lag and finishing high school.

  6. Alistair Wise about to sign a lease and go into business with a "big named" Hobart chef?

  7. I don't know Anon, but Luke Burgess and Alistair Wise would be a match made in Heaven!


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